A Day of Infamy, One Year Later

A recollection and prayer on a grim anniversary for the Armenian people.

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One year ago, on September 27, 2020, Armenian faithful across the world expected to greet the morning in a spirit of joy, to celebrate the unique Armenian Church feast day of the Holy Cross of Varak.

Instead, we awakened to the horror of a vicious attack on our homeland, including the shelling bombardment of the entire border of the Artsakh republic, and its capital city of Stepanakert.

In a message to the public, Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan called it “a true Day of Infamy in the modern history of the Armenian people: an unprovoked surprise attack by the hostile neighboring country of Azerbaijan.” It was the first of many urgent appeals that would follow in the ensuing 44 days of war and catastrophe for our peaceful, innocent people living in their ancient homeland of Armenia and Artsakh.

A year later, we are profoundly aware that the events of autumn 2020 were part of a struggle that has been going on for generations: extending back to the time of Artsakh’s independence; back to the time of the Genocide; further back to generations of which we, the living, are only dimly aware—but which are known, and remembered, by our merciful Lord. It is to Him we pray today:

Lord Jesus, our God and Savior: Please keep watch over your faithful people and the holy soil of Arstakh and Armenia. We pray for the preservation of this small but precious homeland you have given us. We pray for relief from the constant tension of living among hostile enemies.

Remember every precious Armenian soul that has fallen in our ongoing struggle. Bestow your peace upon their loving families. Let it never be said that their heroic sacrifices were made in vain.

Inspire all of your children among us—every Armenian soul across the world—to stand in resolute solidarity with Armenia and Artsakh.

Above all, continue to bless, protect, and strengthen our sacred homeland, its peace-loving citizens, and its courageous defenders—now and always, and to the end of this age. Amen.

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By Christopher H. Zakian

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